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Circ Res. 2001 Jan 19;88(1):84-7.

TrpC1 is a membrane-spanning subunit of store-operated Ca(2+) channels in native vascular smooth muscle cells.

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  • 1School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK.


Mammalian counterparts of the Drosophila trp gene have been suggested to encode store-operated Ca(2+) channels. These specialized channels are widely distributed and may have a general function to reload Ca(2+) into sarcoplasmic reticulum as well as specific functions, including the control of cell proliferation and muscle contraction. Heterologous expression of mammalian trp genes enhances or generates Ca(2+) channel activity, but the crucial question of whether any of the genes encode native subunits of store-operated channels remains unanswered. We have investigated if TrpC1 protein (encoded by trp1 gene) is a store-operated channel in freshly isolated smooth muscle cells of resistance arterioles, arteries, and veins from human, mouse, or rabbit. Messenger RNA encoding TrpC1 was broadly expressed. TrpC1-specific antibody targeted to peptide predicted to contribute to the outer vestibule of TrpC1 channels revealed that TrpC1 is localized to the plasma membrane and has an extracellular domain. Peptide-specific binding of the antibody had a functional effect, selectively blocking store-operated Ca(2+) channel activity. The antibody is a powerful new tool for the study of mammalian trp1 gene product. The study shows that TrpC1 is a novel physiological Ca(2+) channel subunit in arterial smooth muscle cells.

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